Adhesive Capsulitis, or a frozen shoulder, is a poorly understood condition in which the deepest layers of soft tissue, called the joint capsule, become diseased. Shoulder range of motion becomes very limited and painful. The cause of a frozen shoulder is still not known but minor traumas, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, psychiatric patients, post-surgical patients, and prolonged immobilization of the shoulder may in someway cause this condition. The disease is characterized as having freezing, frozen, and thawing stages, and is self-limiting (in time it goes away on its own). However, it can take two years or more to recover from this condition.
Physical therapy consisting of patient education, stretching, joint mobilization, and a home exercise program can help speed recovery. For a small percentage of frozen shoulder patients, it may take two years or more to recover.